Merchant Law is the only common legal arrangements existing among the Gorean cities.
(1) Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take place each year near the Sardar Mountains. (2) It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized
(3) Weights and measures are standardized throughout the Gorean cities by Merchant Law.
(4) Certain defensible stockades on main trade routes are governed under Merchant Law, legislated and revised, and upheld, at the Sardar Fairs.
(5) Some free port cities like Lydius, Helmutsport, Schendi and Bazi also subscribe to Merchant Law which controls things like wharfage and proof of registration.
(6) Businesses, too, complying with Merchant Law are aided in acquiring contracts, even with both sides of a conflict at the same time.
(7) And yet, Merchant law has been unsuccessful, in introducing such things as patents and copyrights between cities.
(8) What receives the most attention throughout the books, though, is how Merchant Law pertains to slaves.
Long before Tarl coming to Gor and for about a generation, a series of wars, loosely referred to as the Slave Wars had occurred. Out of these wars grew much of the Merchant Law pertaining to slaves.
(9) Probably foremost among these has to do with the brand and collar. A prisoner is not the same as being a slave. “I have been neither branded nor collared, nor have I performed a gesture of submission.”
(10) Merchant Law upholds the self-pronouncement that one is slave, after which it is binding.
(11) Merchant Law defines permissions of enslavement, at least two of which are making one a slave when not sharing a Home Stone and any Earth girl.
(12) Merchant Law also dictates that sometimes, in the fall of a city, girls who have been enslaved, girls formerly of the now victorious city, will be freed. The rescuer has no obligation to free the girl. In having been enslaved she has lost all claim to her former Home Stone.
(13)Merchant Law prescribes the brand and collar.
(14) And, while some men do not do so this, it is contrary to the laws of most cities and to Merchant Law, as well.
(15) Following the recommendations of Merchant Law, the three standard marking places for the brand are the thighs and the lower left abdomen.